In Part- I of the Series we derived lessons to be learnt from the Life of Adam (AS). We discovered the origin of our haste and forgetfulness and the need to strive for patience and remembrance of Allah Almighty. The story of Adam (AS) has many lessons to be understood and these lessons are to be learnt by not only deeds of Adam (AS) himself but the circumstances and the other individuals involved in the story.
The First Sin – Arrogance
وَ اِذۡ قُلۡنَا لِلۡمَلٰٓئِکَۃِ اسۡجُدُوۡا لِاٰدَمَ فَسَجَدُوۡۤا اِلَّاۤ اِبۡلِیۡسَ ؕ اَبٰی وَ اسۡتَکۡبَرَ ٭۫ وَ کَانَ مِنَ الۡکٰفِرِیۡنَ
And [mention] when We said to the angels, “Prostrate before Adam”; so they prostrated, except for Iblees. He refused and was arrogant and became of the disbelievers.
The First Sin that was committed against Allah Almighty was that of Shaytaan, who chose to be arrogant. Allah instructed all the angels and the jinns to prostrate in front of Adam (AS). The instruction wasn’t meant so that they worship Adam (AS) but only in order to recognise his status which was raised higher than all of them.
قَالَ لَمۡ اَکُنۡ لِّاَسۡجُدَ لِبَشَرٍ خَلَقۡتَہٗ مِنۡ صَلۡصَالٍ مِّنۡ حَمَاٍ مَّسۡنُوۡنٍ
He said, “Never would I prostrate to a human whom You created out of clay from an altered black mud.”
Here, we recognise the venom of arrogance that was present in Shaytaan. Imagine that the Shaytaan was one of the most loyal creatures of Allah Almighty. What led the Shaytaan to go from being the most loyal to the most disloyal was his arrogance and his pride. He had disobeyed Allah Almighty and had chosen to mislead humankind.
A lesson that can be derived here is that as we worship Allah Almighty, never should we allow arrogance or pride to take refuge in our hearts because surely these emotions would be from Shaytaan alone. What we must understand is that just because we may pray 5 times a day and someone may not, we cannot take up an attitude where we condemn them. Rather what we must do is console each other and strive together as one Ummah to bring perfection in our prayers collectively. To even think that we are better at worshipping Allah than the next person, is to open doors for Shaytaan to fill it with the same sort of arrogance that he carried on the day Adam (AS) was created.
However, we must also understand that arrogance is not when you wear good clothes or drive a good car, it’s when you reject the truth and despise people.
It is narrated on the authority of ‘Abdullah that the Apostle of Allah (Peace Be Upon Him) observed: He who as in his heart the weight of a mustard seed of pride shall not enter Paradise.
Imagine how deeply disliked is pride, that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) remarks that the weight of a mustard seed of pride can stop us from entering Jannah. Yet, we allow pride and arrogance to reside in our hearts, knowing completely well that to Allah Almighty, we are equal and Allah is waiting for each one of us to turn to Him.
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قَالَ فَبِمَاۤ اَغۡوَیۡتَنِیۡ لَاَقۡعُدَنَّ لَہُمۡ صِرَاطَکَ الۡمُسۡتَقِیۡمَ
ثُمَّ لَاٰتِیَنَّہُمۡ مِّنۡۢ بَیۡنِ اَیۡدِیۡہِمۡ وَ مِنۡ خَلۡفِہِمۡ وَ عَنۡ اَیۡمَانِہِمۡ وَ عَنۡ شَمَآئِلِہِمۡ ؕ وَ لَا تَجِدُ اَکۡثَرَہُمۡ شٰکِرِیۡنَ
[Satan] said, “Because You have put me in error, I will surely sit in wait for them on Your straight path.
Then I will come to them from before them and from behind them and on their right and on their left, and You will not find most of them grateful [to You].”
Shaytaan wishes to mislead humankind in such a manner that we become creatures of Allah Almighty that are ungrateful, unthankful, and unashamed in our committing of sins. May Allah protect us from such wrong. We must understand that every instant when we choose to not be influenced by illicit desires, every moment when we choose to do the right thing and remain patient and seeking the forgiveness of Allah Almighty – we defeat Shaytaan.
When we choose to follow the path of Islam truly and prevent ourselves from doing what is forbidden by Allah Almighty, it is as if we actively participate to defeat Shaytaan and his claim to mislead us.
The lesson that needs to be derived is that the next time we wish to do ill, we must remind ourselves of how Shaytaan disobeyed Allah Almighty and claimed to mislead us all. Every form of evil that exists in today’s world is a creation led forth by Shaytaan, whether it be the sins of pride or rebellions or hatred against one another and even sins of adultery or laziness to do good deeds. But the concept here to be understood is that we must not fear Shaytaan but rather fear Allah Almighty. When we fear The Creator instead of the expelled Shaytaan, our conviction as Muslims increases.
We must also realise that we have not lived lives of perfection wherein, not even a single sin has been committed by us and the key thing to understand is that we must repent whenever we commit sins, no matter how much Shaytaan may urge us not to do it. By the strength that Allah Almighty has bestowed upon us, we may defeat the ill-conceived urges that Shaytaan places in our hearts.
Greeting One Another – A Custom as old as Adam (AS)
In the times we live, the concept of greeting one another has significantly changed to the point that all sorts of variations have been created even in the simplest of greetings. We as Muslims have chosen to blindly follow these customs to the point that we have forgotten the most revered way of greeting one another. When Adam (AS) was asked to greet the angels, he said –
(May Peace be upon you)
And the Angels replied by saying
اَلسَلامُ عَلَيْكُم وَرَحْمَةُ اَلله
(May Peace and Allah’s Mercy be on you)
The things we say and the way we greet forms our identity as Muslims and by doing that we can strive to attain perfection in our worship of Allah Almighty. We must understand that these words of greetings symbolise much more than any form of greeting available to us and no matter how ‘trending’ such ways maybe, it is the words that invoke peace that was spoken first by the first man to the Angels, that carries the greatest significance.
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